Two Ealing businesses were discovered by Local Democracy Reporting Services to be using false hygiene rating stickers in their front windows.
Wild West Grill on King Street and Bulsho Friends Cuisine on The Green both in Southall are both zero-rated meaning that “urgent improvement is necessary”.
When visited by LDRS, it was found that both businesses have a sign showing a 3 rating in their show window. Ealing Council confirmed that the businesses, which are only 300 metres apart, were given a rating of zero on July 27.
Both were also previously rated a 3, raising the possibility that the restaurants used their old stickers. LDRS flagged this with Ealing Council, which said it would send enforcement officers to get the business to remove the stickers.
When the businesses were revisited, there were no signs of the stickers. Although in some parts of the UK, businesses are legally compelled to display their hygiene ratings – in England, they are treated as guidelines for the consumer meaning that restaurants, shops and takeaways can choose to reveal their scores or not.
Restaurants misleading the public are also hard to punish with Ealing Council being unable to issue fines to restaurants providing false information. In both cases, LDRS reached out to the businesses for comment.
While there has not been a response from Bulsho Friends Cuisine, Wild West Grill did answer the phone. The chef of the restaurant explained that a reason for its 0 rating could be because of planned renovations which have seen the restaurant temporarily close.
However, he was unable to comment on why the Wild West Grill, which had been open to the public a few weeks before its closure was displaying the wrong hygiene rating in its window.
Ealing Council says the borough has one of the highest numbers of food establishments in London and that zero-rated places only make up a very small percentage (less than 1%) of food businesses.
Last year, Ealing Council issued the second-highest number of enforcement notices in London, with enforcement of food standards being a key focus for the borough.